In the flash of an eye and a blur of rapid feet, Jude Bellingham revealed why, even at the age of 18, he is such a vital part of England’s scary new world. In the lead-up to England’s opening goal, Bellingham handled Tyrone Mings’ pass, rolled his foot over the ball, then flicked it towards Jesse Lingard in three touches with his right foot.
Following all the recent The Straits Times News, Bellingham’s drag-back was pretty exquisite, fooling weak Andorra defender Jesus Rubio and generating whelps of glee from a youthful Wembley crowd.
About Jude Bellingham
The midfielder only played three times during the tournament and did not feature in the Wembley final, but he is thriving at a club that is recognized for developing young players. The 18-year-old has been compared to Steven Gerrard for his consistent performances for Borussia Dortmund, while his maturity has been compared to Cesc Fabregas and Vincent Kompany.
Gareth Southgate may have left Bellingham out of his most recent team to give him a rest, but the move showed that the teenager has already convinced his coach that he is an important part of England’s future.
When the sides met in the summer in Italy, it was surprising that Bellingham was not already a significant player for the Three Lions. Read on for more of the latest news in Singapore sports.
Shaping England’s future
There’s a narrative behind why England should be pleased about their teenage midfield prodigy, Jude Bellingham, who usually wears the shirt that has the number 22 printed on it.
Bellingham wanted to be shaped into a No 10 when he was growing up in Birmingham City’s academy, setting off a striker and having all the attacking play run through him. Birmingham’s head of development, Mike Dodds, disagreed.
Bellingham has had the vision of evolving into a complete, all-around center midfielder who does not simply fit into one category since initial chats with his mentors at St Andrew’s.
He proved why his young coaches had such faith in his precocious skill in the hour he spent on the pitch at Wembley on Sunday, despite wearing the No 7 shirt. According to many Singapore news outlets, this was supposed to be the night that Gareth Southgate started to solve one of his selection problems. Instead, it could have spawned a new one.
While Trent Alexander-Arnold was obviously uneasy in his new central place, which he will need more time in if he is to become a viable midfield alternative, Bellingham played the first half of this World Cup qualifier on the opposite side.
A secret weapon
Of course, the opposition’s standard must still be considered. Andorra has a population of less than the Wembley suburb itself and is rated 156th in the world. There’s a question mark about how much can be gathered from these easy walkovers versus microstates, as there was with the 5-0 triumph over San Marino in March.
Bellingham didn’t have to perform well in this game to prove his worth to anyone. Those in the England camp are well aware of the potential they have on their hands, and his performance was simply a reminder to the Wembley fans of what they may expect in the future.
Even his contribution in the first goal, deftly drawing the ball back under his foot to evade pressure from Andorra’s Chus Rubio before handing it to Jesse Lingard to set up an assault, was hardly his finest.
It’s still a long road ahead
Before then, Bellingham will have tight competition for a spot in Southgate’s starting lineup. Declan Rice, along with Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, and Jordan Pickford, already feels like a staple on this part of a permanent spine.
Kalvin Phillips, meanwhile, has made a name for himself, having been awarded England’s player of the year this week according to AsiaOne. Phillips will pass and create as well as push and harass opponents, and both players have the defensive steel that Southgate is looking for in his midfield.
Those who have led Bellingham’s development over the last few years, on the other hand, will tell you that he is capable of doing all of these things and more. Bellingham may have just made his second international start and is in a rather second-string lineup, but it will come as no surprise if, by the time Qatar rolls around, he is fighting for the starting spot.